5 Things I Learned in My Freshman Year

5 Things I Learned in My Freshman Year

My fresh reflection on freshman year at Ohio State.

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High school to college is perhaps the biggest transition of your life. You are thrown into a whole new environment, with new people, new procedures - not to mention new roommates. My last final was about a week ago, so I've had some time to reflect on the year. Here are a few of the things I learned from my freshman year at Ohio State.

1. There's no need to "fit in"

This is totally different from high school (and possibly the greatest change). Because there are thousands of new people on campus, that means there are thousands of potential friends. I grew up in a smaller town where everyone knew everyone's business and there was not much room for individuality. College is built for individuality. There are millions of different opportunities to take advantage of and explore. There's no need to do something just because that's what everyone else is doing or that's what makes you cool. Newsflash: there is no popularity contest in college! If the friends you made in your first week or your roommates or the girl that sits next to you in class are not your cup of tea, there are so many other people out there. Who's to say one of them isn't in the same boat as you, looking for someone just like you?

2. Going to class is the least you could do

In high school, my biggest worry was acing tests and finishing homework before 2 am. Now, things are different. I do not have a rigid schedule of when I have to be at school and when I can do my homework; it's all on me. So, with that being said, the least I can do is go to class. It's tempting to skip class when all you're doing is listening to some boring lecture that will be posted online afterward anyways. However, in my experience, skipping class leads you down a spiral on laziness. There were so many winter mornings where the last thing I wanted to do was go to class. Yet, when I would occasionally skip, I noticed that my whole day was then screwed up and unproductive as a result. Going to class got me up and moving and much more likely to get other things done, too.

3. Once you go home, you will miss it more

I did not go home often during my freshman year; actually, I went home a total of 3 times. I was having so much fun at college, I was not even thinking about going home! I was not even feeling homesick. But, when I first went home in October, I could not wait to get home for winter break. It's not that I did not like school or home; I was having a battle between my old and new life. Going home definitely heightens that homesick feeling, so I tried to stay at school at much as possible, and that definitely helped me get over it.

4. Getting involved is extremely important

Especially on a huge campus like Ohio State's, getting involved is the way to make it feel smaller. You will find people with similar interests and likely make your best friends this way. By finding your community, you'll be able to take part in experiences and events that actually interest you and will add to your tool kit. In high school, I was heavily involved in theatre. Coming to college, I had no interest in continuing that passion as I thought it would be useless to my future. Yet, when auditions rolled around, I remembered just how important it was to me. I got a fresh, but familiar experience and made some of my greatest friends through the process. There are tons of different organizations and opportunities like that to take advantage of, so it would be stupid not to get involved.

5. Staying in is nice, but you will never forget late night memories made with friends

Of course, school comes first. But is an extra hour of sleep really going to impact you that much? Say yes when you're invited out! I know it's tempting to opt to stay in and catch up on some Netflix, but trust me, you will have way more fun if you get out of your room. Obviously, you should not go out every night. Make smart decisions, but do not limit yourself just because you have a test the next day. I made some of my best friends at school from late night talks and movie nights. Even if it's as simple as watching Netflix with someone else instead of alone, saying yes opens you up to so many more possibilities.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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To My Best Friend Of 15 Years

You are my person.

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To my person,

I will never forget the first day that we met. It was the first day of preschool and my mom had just dropped me off. As I started to walk into the classroom I noticed that you were sitting alone on the floor crying. Not sure what to do, I went over to you and asked if you wanted to go play. Your face immediately lit up as we walked into the classroom and in that moment I knew that you would become my best friend. Ever since that day we've been attached by the hip and I wouldn't want it any other way.

April Roberson

Our friendship is the one true relationship that I can count on and for that I am forever grateful. This friendship of ours goes beyond our laughs and lake days. It's real. Through blood, sweat, and tears you've always been right by my side no matter what. You pick me up when I am drowning in pain. You cheer for me even when my ego is a little too high. You love me even when you should hate me. But, most importantly, you stand by me.

Our friendship is the perfect example of trust. You taught me that the right people can be trusted and will not betray you. No matter how dark the secret or how crazy the adventure, you never speak a word about me to anyone. You care about protecting my heart from the awful things in this world and when I am broken you are always there to pick up the pieces no matter how long it takes them to heal.

April Roberson

Our friendship has been a lifetime of happiness with a little bit of spunk. Not only do you encourage my crazy adventures, but you're always right by my side for each one. You keep life exciting and you make it easy. You are a true gift from God and I feel completely indebted to you for the role that you've played in my life. Our friendship is so special because it's full of our tremendous amounts of giving, sharing, and most importantly, love. There's not a day that goes by when I don't feel overwhelmingly thankful to have you by my side doing life with me.

So thank you, to my person. Thank you for always showing up for every little thing and making life so much better. Thank you for being my adventure inspiration and my lifelong travel buddy. Thank you for loving me unconditionally through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Lastly, thank you for being the one person that I can forever count on in this life time. I love you with my whole heart and I wouldn't want to do life with anyone else. You are my person.

Love,

Me

April Roberson

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